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Mass Exodus

Irma strengthens as it nears Florida with deadly storm surges

FORT MYERS: Hurricane Irma gained strength as it was set to make landfall in Florida on Sunday with a double barrel threat of destructive winds and life-threatening storm surges, prompting one of the largest evacuations in U.S. history. The storm, which went on a deadly march up Cuba’s northern coast a day earlier, was a Category 4 hurricane about 40 miles (65 kms) south-southeast of Key West, Florida, as of 5 a.m. EDT (0900 GMT) on Sunday with maximum sustained winds of 130 mph (210 kph), the National Hurricane Center…